Hannah, Ecuador

Hannah is a junior President’s Scholar majoring in political science in Dedman College and accounting in the Cox School, with a minor in Spanish. In spring 2012, she is in Quito, Ecuador, with BCA and SMU Abroad to study international politics, economic development, and social justice in Latin America.


 I really cannot even begin to say enough great things about the BCA program here. As my study abroad program, this group organizes most of my weekend trips as well as various educational experiences during my time here in Quito. I love that the program directors (Daniel and Marta really are the best) always make a genuine effort to ensure that we get a realistic and oftentimes overlooked view of Ecuador. Our trips focus on environmental issues, indigenous rights, local culture, and Latin American history - things that are vital to truly grasping life on the Equator. This weekend we traveled to Bomboli, an ecological center about an hour and a half from Quito. This reserve is run by one [...]

2012-03-08T16:50:26+00:00 March 5th, 2012|Hannah, Ecuador|


I can’t believe it’s already here, but then again this time of year always seems to sneak up on me: midterms. This past week I took 3 exams, and I have another one coming up next week. My professors are demanding term paper outlines, essays, and presentations - all of which are slightly overwhelming but offer a good reminder that my time here in Ecuador is passing all too quickly. It’s kind of crazy when I really think about it … this isn’t vacation or a few weeks of traveling abroad. I live here. Yesterday a taxi driver asked me how long I’ve been in Quito, and I almost surprised myself when I responded “two months.” In some ways, the [...]

2012-03-08T16:42:59+00:00 March 4th, 2012|Hannah, Ecuador|

Vamos a La Playa

It’s been about a week since I last posted, and I’m fairly certain it would be impossible to recount everything that happened in the past 7 days … but I’ll give it a try because I’ve got to share one of the most incredible trips I’ve ever experienced. This past week - during the long weekend for Carnaval celebrations - my BCA group made its way to the Galapagos Islands. Yes, I was blessed to walk along the same gorgeous beaches and breathtaking volcanic formations that made Darwin start a little hypothesis about the origin of man. The entire trip was one amazing landscape after another. From the back of a few small speedboats, my group and I observed penguins, [...]

2012-02-27T21:51:22+00:00 February 27th, 2012|Hannah, Ecuador|

La Finca

This past week has been beyond busy as I attempt to catch up after a weekend away, so I apologize for my tardy update on the weekend adventures. First, I just have to say that the entire experience was absolutely wonderful. On Thursday evening, at the prime hour of 11 p.m., we began our journey to the coast of Ecuador. About 7 hours (and one very rough sleeping experience) later, we arrived in the town of Guaranda and took one additional 30-minute bus ride into a mountainous region scattered with farms, tiny homes, and some of the most gorgeous rivers I have ever seen. At this point, I thought the overnight bus ride was the main transportation challenge [...]

2012-02-16T23:11:10+00:00 February 10th, 2012|Hannah, Ecuador|

Rey de Burger

Well. I can honestly say that tonight may rank as the new #1 most interesting family dinner...I just never know what to expect for my meals here. Tonight, my host mom and brother entered the house at approximately 7:30 p.m. to inform me that we were going to go out for dinner tonight - something that has not occurred since I moved in. As we all loaded into the car, my brother talked incessantly about the great dinner we were about to experience. He excitedly told me that we were going to a fantastic burger place (an idea that sounded amazing and wonderfully American) and continued to drive toward the center of the city where most of the [...]

2012-02-16T23:09:46+00:00 February 3rd, 2012|Hannah, Ecuador|


As you can probably guess based on the general theme of my posts, this week has brought even more unexpected adventures and challenges. The results, though, have been wonderful as usual. This past week, I began volunteering at two different locations in Ecuador, both of which offer a completely different type of learning experience and a great opportunity to serve alongside some truly talented and compassionate people. On Friday morning, I made my way to Para Sus Niños, a small orphanage operated by an American couple who came to Ecuador as missionaries. The trip to Carcelen (where the orphanage is located) required two buses, a taxi ride, and some walking...needless to say, I got lost a few times [...]

2012-02-16T23:08:10+00:00 February 2nd, 2012|Hannah, Ecuador|

Week 3

It’s slightly unbelievable that I have already been in Ecuador for three weeks. Sometimes it feels like a matter of hours, and other times I feel like I’ve lived here forever, so my grasp of time is not exactly accurate these days. I can happily report, though, that this week has been the best one yet. Last weekend was our first opportunity to really spend some quality time in the city with our host families, and the adventures never really seem to end. On Saturday, my family took me on quite a trip. Before I get into the details, it is important to remember that things operate on Ecua Time here - aka, no one is in a hurry and [...]

2012-02-10T23:32:24+00:00 January 27th, 2012|Hannah, Ecuador|

My education

Last semester, I filled out never ending piles of paperwork - from frustrating visa applications and international travel documents to personal goal statements and academic profiles - in preparation for a semester in Latin America. I had a general idea of what to expect, and I felt fairly confident that certain aspects of my journey would provide expected challenges as well as great opportunities for personal growth. I am quickly learning, however, that my expectations are basically useless here. I do not mean that in a negative way, for in most areas of life my expectations have been far surpassed by the reality of Ecuador. I expected beautiful landscapes … This past weekend, I swam beneath a breathtaking [...]

2012-02-10T23:21:31+00:00 January 20th, 2012|Hannah, Ecuador|

La Vida Ecua

Hannah is a junior President's Scholar majoring in political science in Dedman College and accounting in the Cox School, with a minor in Spanish. In spring 2012, she is in Quito, Ecuador, with BCA and SMU Abroad to study international politics, economic development, and social justice in Latin America.

2012-02-10T23:18:31+00:00 January 10th, 2012|Hannah, Ecuador|
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